Coronary artery disease risk predicted by insulin resistance, plasma lipids, and hypertension in people without diabetes

Am J Med Sci. 2000 Feb;319(2):84-8. doi: 10.1097/00000441-200002000-00003.


Background: It has been shown that insulin resistance syndrome, including glucose intolerance, dyslipidemia, and hypertension, is frequently associated with coronary artery disease (CAD). However, their relative contributions and predictive power in the development of CAD are still unclear, particularly in persons without diabetes.

Method: We examined these risk factors between 96 patients without diabetes but with angiographically documented CAD and 96 age-, sex-, and body mass index-matched healthy control subjects. Fasting plasma lipoprotein, glucose, and insulin concentrations in response to a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test were determined, and insulin sensitivity was measured by the insulin suppression test.

Results: Patients with CAD had significantly higher values of fasting glucose, glucose and insulin responses to oral glucose tolerance test, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and triglyceride and decreased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol concentrations compared with those of healthy people (P < 0.02-0.001). Although the steady-state plasma insulin values were similar in both groups, the steady-state plasma glucose (SSPG) concentrations were significantly higher in patients with CAD (12.2+/-0.4 versus 8.1+/-0.4 mmol/L, P < 0.001) compared with healthy subjects. When HDL < 0.9 mmol/L, LDL cholesterol > or = 4.1 mmol/L, triglyceride > or = 2.3 mmol/L, SSPG > or = 10.5 mmol/L, and presence of hypertension were defined as separate risk factors for CAD, significantly higher odds-ratio values were observed in patients with CAD compared with healthy people. From logistic multiple regression analysis, SSPG was the strongest risk, followed by lowered HDL cholesterol, elevated triglyceride and LDL cholesterol, and hypertension, to predict CAD. These 5 factors accounted for 36% of total risk for development of CAD in persons without diabetes.

Conclusions: Patients without diabetes with CAD have abnormal glucose metabolism, hyperinsulinemia, and insulin resistance. Degree of insulin resistance (SSPG values), plasma lipid values, and history of hypertension together accounted for one third of all risk for CAD, although degree of insulin resistance was the strongest risk factor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Coronary Artery Disease / etiology*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / metabolism
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / blood
  • Hyperlipidemias / complications*
  • Hypertension / blood
  • Hypertension / complications*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Risk
  • Risk Factors


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Lipids